WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – There are ambitious plans being made in Warren for a science fiction museum to house props used in many famous movies and TV shows.
The props came from 1965 Warren Harding graduate John Zabrucky and his Los Angeles-based prop company, which closed when Zabrucky retired.
They’re now the property of the Trumbull County Historical Society and will be the focal point of the new museum.
There are 500 props — nine semi-trucks full — in the Zabrucky collection, temporarily packed in the corner of a warehouse. There are lots of fans, gears and chairs, but there’s also a sci-fi-looking gun, a globe used in the lobby of “Westworld” and teleporters from “Men in Black.”
“We’re in the inventory and research phase now to really get a better grasp of what we have and how many items are in the collection total,” said Meghan Reed, director of the Trumbull County Historical Society.
The plan is to put the Zabrucky collection into a still-unnamed museum focusing on science fiction. It will be in a 120-year-old building on Main Avenue that overlooks downtown and was originally a grocery and produce warehouse.
“There’s something, being the Historical Society, that we really liked with that building, too,” Reed said. “Giving it a second life. Being able to take a historic building and save it and turn it into something that could be very cool.”
Reed estimates it’ll take from $18-25 million, of which, so far, they have zero.
“We are in the very beginning phases of developing a capital campaign for this project. We’re looking at creating a business prospectus and feasibility study right off the bat so that we have a better sense of funding for this project,” Reed said.
Reed believes it will be money well spent.
“We knew the value of this collection and we knew that it could be a hard economic driver for Warren. That we could build it out to be a major tourism destination here, and that is the end goal. That’s what we’re looking to do,” Reed said.
It’ll take at least three years to complete the museum. It will be done in phases.
While they’re in the process of renovating the building, there will be pop-up exhibits for people to see.